By Ahmed Ahmed
The Deaf Women Association of Nigeria,(DWAN) advocated for interpreters in health institutions for effective communication between the deaf patients and the medical staff in the Institution.
The Zonal Secretary of the Association Mrs Miyawa Mshelia made the call at the first North East 2023 Zonal Annual General Meeting and conference on Wednesday in Bauchi.
She noted that a deaf person is exposed to a higher stress level and at risk of receiving inadequate health care and health-related information due to limitations in communication between the deaf person and the health care workers.
“Clear communication between patients and medical staff is critical to have a positive interaction and successful health outcomes.
“Many people who are Deaf or hard of hearing have experienced difficulty in a hospital or medical setting predominantly around communication.
“Due to gaps in understanding or awareness on both sides, Deaf patients may not be fully informed as to their treatment or their options,” she said.
Mshelia stressed that the difficulties in communication cause emotional reactions with nurses and other health workers.
“There is a need for manual alphabet and sign language, and the perception about the need for an interpreter of sign language in a health institution.” She said.
The Zonal Secretary also called for women-centered policies which can better the lives of less-privileged deaf women hidden everywhere in the nation.
She noted that the meeting was to create awareness, exchange ideas, network, build capacity and establish synergy with relevant organisations.
“To address the issues of marginalisation, violation and discrimination against deaf women and girls especially in the areas of sexual and reproductive.
“We see a future where deaf women are liberated and empowered to live with dignity and excel in their chosen paths towards achieving equality for deaf women at all spheres of human endeavour.” She said.
Earlier, The Chairperson of the Association in Bauchi State Hajia Tabawa Garba seek for the support of government and non-governmental organisations including health care facilities, schools.
“Religious leaders, business owners and the like across the nation to create an inclusive community for deaf women through the provision of sign language interpreters in all activities and signage at public places,” she said.
Our correspondent reports that the conference is with the theme “Recognising Deaf Women’s Rights” with participants from Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States.